COUNTIES 3 HANTS ISLAND DERBY PREVIEW
VENTNOR v ISLE OF WIGHT
A FIXTURE that attracts huge attention each season — Ventnor v Isle of Wight — is expected to draw a big crowd at Watcombe Bottom this afternoon (Saturday).
With both sides going into the game in great early season form, it is shaping up to be a superb match in the new-look Counties 3 Hampshire league.
Last weekend, Ventnor hammered Portsmouth II 53-17, while Isle of Wight enjoyed a comfortable 29-10 victory over Overton at Wootton Rec.
Island coach Keith Wallace said: “Everyone gets excited for a local derby and the lads have been working hard in training for it.
“It was good to finally blow away the cobwebs against Overton — and doubly good to get the win, but now we need to back it up.
“We didn’t do ourselves justice last time we played at Ventnor, and will need to stay disciplined and execute our game plan to get the result.”
Ventnor's first team captain, Lewis Jones, said it is a huge match for both teams — not just because of their traditional rivalry, but because they both want to maintain the momentum from big wins last Saturday.
"I hope the style that allowed us to put seven tries past Portsmouth can be repeated," said Jones.
Last season, Ventnor won the corresponding fixture, but Isle of Wight had their revenge at Wootton, as was the case in the season before the pandemic halted all rugby, so expect another entertaining game.
Kick-off 3pm at Watcombe Bottom.
Meanwhile, Ventnor's second XV home game against Millbrook today has been postponed due to lack of player availability, the club said.